What’s totally acceptable and completely normal in one country might get you some funny looks elsewhere. Or, in other words, welcome to Planet Earth where there are loads of different countries and cultures that are bound to blow your mind when you travel.

This time, we’re looking at the differences between the United States and the United Kingdom. Even though both countries have a ‘special relationship’ (not to mention a rocky initial history together), far from everything is the same there. Hopping ‘over the pond’ means traveling a large distance both physically and culturally, too. Like you'd expect when going to any new country when you fly abroad.

Redditor TownImmediate9060 went on r/AskReddit and wanted to find out what’s socially acceptable in the US but would be horrifying in the UK. The thread went viral and the responses made us seriously realize the extent of the differences between the two allies. Check out some of the best answers below and remember to upvote your fave ones, dear Pandas.

#1

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Healthcare that bankrupts you

chhurry , Olga Guryanova Report

ZeroHargreaves057
Community Member
1 month ago

Mhm! Exactly!

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#2

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Paying more than the price you see on a price tag in a shop due to taxes. WTF just put how much it costs!

gibsterminator , Akshay Chauhan Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, that also bothered me as well

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#3

Cashiers being forced to stand... give them a chair you masochists

andy_james_78 Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

This weirds me out every time

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Britain continues to use soft power to spread its influence abroad. Its cultural impact is off the charts. Just consider how influential the Harry Potter books, musicians like Ed Sheeran, and football entities like the Premier League really are.

They’re known and respected globally. As such, the UK’s able to draw in plenty of tourists (global pandemic notwithstanding because it’s hit everyone badly) and students from abroad because it remains at the forefront of people’s minds.

#4

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Politicians mentioning religion when campaigning

awbayley97 , wikipedia Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Religion should have no room in politics anywhere. (But for positive values such as grace of charity.)

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#5

New mothers going back to work almost immediately after giving birth, because they don’t have paid maternity leave

MultipleDinosaurs Report

I I
Community Member
1 month ago

that's just SAD , very , very SAD

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#6

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK An $800, four-block ambulance ride.

jeff_the_nurse , REEET JANK Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

Anything about the so-called American health system is a mystery to the rest of the world.

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However, research shows that the confusion and uncertainty around the long-term effects that Brexit, the UK’s exit from the European Union, will have slightly dampened the country’s influence abroad.

Meanwhile, the British Council found that it’s actually culture, not politics, that deepens the ties between the UK and the US. And it’s culture that’s going to play a vital role in the future of both nations as well.

#7

That whole thing where American kids pledge their allegiance to the flag. That is completely weird and scarily totalitarian to us Brits.

Naugrith Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

Not only to Brits!

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#8

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Overworking. It's rewarded and encouraged in the U.S., but during my time in the U.K. my colleagues were horrified by the long hours and lack of holidays that was the norm in the U.S.

CuriousAboutLife0 , Alex Kotliarskyi Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

What an awful soulless place. And I'm guessing the only reason they give them what looks like expensive chairs is so they don't get sued for workplace injury.

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#9

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Greeters in supermarkets. Just feels fake.

smokingthegateway , Kristina Paparo Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

Are greeters real? I thought the Simpson's was exaggerating. I guess in a country so massive, you gta find a way to stand out? Still seems weird tho

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“Culture and history were the two top rated factors contributing to the UK’s attractiveness among American respondents, with 43% identifying ‘cultural and historic attractions’ as a major draw and 42% identifying ‘history,’” the British Council explains what it discovered in its research.

#10

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Driving everywhere.

In the UK it's perfectly normal to have your kid walk to school and walking to the shops to do your shopping.

X0AN , why kei Report

Something
Community Member
1 month ago

This varies in the US too. In most cities it's normal not to have a car, but not in places where most people don't live within walking distance to anything.

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#11

Offering full-time employees anything less than 28 days of paid holidays per year - it's not only socially unacceptable - it's illegal!

RandGenUserName Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 month ago

not in the US.....

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#12

Bragging about how expensive something was.

In the US "this is a $100 shirt" ...smug face

In the UK "can you believe I got this whole suit for £25!" ...smug face

NCC-2000-A Report

A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
1 month ago

Americans love a good discount too.

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Despite some of the more superficial cultural differences between the US and the UK, both nations appear to care about pretty much the same issues.

“The research showed a high degree of shared concern about global issues among young people in both countries with poverty, extremism/terrorism, and climate change as the top factors chosen by young people in both the US and UK,” the British Council found. “The research suggests the relationship between the two countries is at root a cultural as much as a political phenomenon, and viewed in those terms it is indeed special.”

#13

Labelling the winner of a sports tournament that only your country plays as ‘World Champions’

Calling Football ‘Soccer’

DM1994 Report

Paul Davis
Community Member
1 month ago

We're not the only ones doing that. No one seems to blink at the audacity of the Miss Universe beauty contest, where Earth seems to win every time.

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#14

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK A rubber in England is not the same as a rubber in the US.

Butwaip , Annie Spratt Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

In the UK, a durex is (or used to be) a condom. In Australia, it's sticky tape. Best not to get them confused.

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#15

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Gaps in bathroom stalls

8xxx5 , ttarasiuk Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Again, horrifying everywhere in the world

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Ironically, the actual term ‘special relationship’ sees very little use in the US, primarily being a British way of categorizing the tight bonds between the two nations. However, this doesn’t change the fact that both countries are very much skipping along arm-in-arm, primarily admiring each other’s cultural output (leaving politics a secondary concern).

#16

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Making tea in a microwave.

fantsukissa , MoneyBlogNewz Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

This is horrifying for the rest of the world not just the UK!!

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#17

When my Brit friends were visiting, they were horrified when the waiter took their credit card to swipe back at the terminal. This made them REALLY uncomfortable.

cn45 Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

I would have been too!

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#18

Cutting lines for things, I’ve seen some people when going to Disney world trying to cut lines for random reasons. Queueing in the uk is like our national sport

CMDR_omnicognate Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Respect the queue! This should be everywhere!

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Redditor TownImmediate9060’s thread about the differences between the US and the UK was a roaring success. It got more than 67.7k upvotes in just over a week. What’s more, the thread got over 51k comments which just goes to show that the OP hit the nail on the head and chose a niche topic that plenty of folks were interested in.

The thread also got over 300 awards, proving that TownImmediate9060’s fellow Reddit users really appreciated them asking the question in the first place.

#19

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK My (British) partner & I (American) were in London, running late to meet our friends. Just as we get to the tube station, I see our train has just pulled in; we haul ass across platform and I yell, “HOLD THE DOOR.” Someone does, we make the train, I don’t see a problem. My partner, by contrast, is mortified. This was 4-5 years ago & he is still mortified. Apparently we were meant to just...let the train leave? Without us?? & wait for the next one???

Ok-Cryptographer8906 , Chris Yang Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
1 month ago

On the tube, there's absolutely no reason to "hold the door". The next one will be in in a few minutes, and you will just be a little late. By holding, everyone on the train will be late, and there is actually a possibility that it travels down the line, delaying several trains.

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#20

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Asking new neighbors, "Have you found a church yet?"

boganvegan , Cosmic Timetraveler Report

JuJu
Community Member
1 month ago

That would be weird.

Jazzy Mc. Jaz
Community Member
1 month ago

oh it is

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Julia Atkinson
Community Member
1 month ago

Thereby identifying themselves as neighbours you might want to avoid

Beeps
Community Member
1 month ago

Exactly, I think that would be very helpful indeed!

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Norah
Community Member
1 month ago

Ahw my fave church in the world (I'm an atheist). This is the church in a tiny Icelandic town where I lived: Seydisfjordur

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
1 month ago

I want to convert it to my house. The style with that background...

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Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 month ago

Answer that you've just joined, The Church of Satan. That'll shut em up!

Dilly Millandry
Community Member
1 month ago

Also tell them you prefer to worship naked in the garden.

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Tim Fountain
Community Member
1 month ago

And the look of horror as said neighbors find out you don't go to church or participate in organized religion.

Tim Haight
Community Member
1 month ago

Told a couple of LDS missionaries I dont follow any religion because the last church I was in spoke in tounges and brought out live rattlesnakes

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Bobby
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm American and find this odd

TexasWoman
Community Member
1 month ago

I've never been asked either

HellCat
Community Member
1 month ago

more likely to ask if they've found the local yet in the UK?

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
1 month ago

I mean, I'm a Christian so I'd expect my family to ask me that when I move, but I would never ask that of my new neigbours.

Virgil Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

"Why have you lost them?"

Johanna McMahan
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm American and I hate when people ask me about religion. It's none of their business.

TexasWoman
Community Member
1 month ago

Glad I've never been asked that cuz I ain't no religious person

Jacqui Dunn
Community Member
1 month ago

Mind your own business!

Torz Lloyd
Community Member
1 month ago

I think it must be a rule for us brits : don't talk about religion or politics at family meal or to random people.

Covid Pan Demic
Community Member
1 month ago

Can i recommend one, we're just about to have baptizing season.

CatWoman312
Community Member
1 month ago

This is more common in rural areas. Not bigger cities

*me*
Community Member
1 month ago

What if their atheists? What if they’re Muslim? They might be Jewish. Never assume, Christians.

TexasWoman
Community Member
1 month ago

Totally agree cuz I'm atheist

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CrunChewy McSandybutt
Community Member
1 month ago

That's just in the south.

Analyn Lahr
Community Member
1 month ago

No where have I moved has anyone asked that. Maybe it's a Southern thing, sounds like it.

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
1 month ago

"Did you lose them all?"

Mary Peace
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm a Christian but I've never asked anyone this. The only people that asked me were friends who knew I go to Church.

Honu
Community Member
1 month ago

I've heard from people I know that grew up in the south that it's considered just normal conversation when first meeting someone to ask which church they go to. I live on the west coast and it would be considered very intrusive here, and a bit bigoted.

Crochet lady
Community Member
1 month ago

I knew we have moved into the wrong neighborhood when two different sets of neighbors came to introduce themselves and asked if I played tennis. No, I have 3 children under the age of 4, I do NOT play tennis. Haha.

Paul Davis
Community Member
1 month ago

I grew up in the U.S., was SEVERELY abused by evangelicals, and nosy people trying to ask me things like this really trigger me.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Never been asked that, nor asked that.

Deep
Community Member
1 month ago

Is this really a thing?

Susan Egan
Community Member
1 month ago

No just no, don't know where you were but that's not normal.

Lynn Morello
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, I know how to avoid them all.

M Kate McCulloch
Community Member
1 month ago

No. Haven't been back since the preacher at the church my mother forced me to go to turned out to be the guy with the hairspray, makeup, silk suit and 18k gold and diamond rolex. Can't help the congregation financially but helps himself just fine... after that - f**k church.

Nona Bgo
Community Member
1 month ago

That's so creepy...

Florence Hastings
Community Member
1 month ago

Why is there one missing?

Tim Haight
Community Member
1 month ago

I live in the US. was never asked this other than when the mormons come around. Great joke, Why do mormons/7th day adventits/any other missionary that bugs you at your door, have inverted nipples. Its from poking them in the chest, telling them to get off your porch.

Megan Johnson
Community Member
1 month ago

Bonus round: you’re an atheist moving to rural Texas. That was a real scary conversation killer.

Maria Rib
Community Member
1 month ago

That might be more of a southern thing. If one of my neighbors asked I think I might avoid them.

Jeff Christensen
Community Member
1 month ago

Have they lost theirs?

స్టీఫెన్ ఆండ్రూ
Community Member
1 month ago

WTF? That's messed up. Why would you care about your neighbours' religion?

DG
Community Member
1 month ago

That's rude!!

Hugo A-niro
Community Member
1 month ago

Born and raised in USA. No one has ever has me this

Kitty Luna Darrow
Community Member
1 month ago

That's a bit more southern.

Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

OMG. Who does that? Texas, Florida? Georgia? Yikes!

TMinus6 and Counting
Community Member
1 month ago

No, have you found Jesus yet?

Greg Mingus
Community Member
1 month ago

Caring about your neighbors soul isn't bad.

InfectedVoice
Community Member
1 month ago

I would reveal a Deicide t-shirt with an inverted cross on the back and the words "Christ Crusher" in bold letters and say "probably not my crowd pal".

beavis
Community Member
1 month ago

Lol

Id row
Community Member
1 month ago

I would never dream of asking anyone that.

Mike Loux
Community Member
1 month ago

"Why, yes, the Church of Satan. Join us, brother..."

Helmut Kok
Community Member
1 month ago

is it lost

Mark Jaress
Community Member
1 month ago

Only in the Bible Belt. Those people are cra cra

Ben Dover
Community Member
1 month ago

nobody does that in America, why dont you go find another country to s**t then

Susan Widomski
Community Member
1 month ago

No one ever asked my that.

Josh Tall
Community Member
1 month ago

i'm an american and this pisses me off, to no end!!!

Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

I know of nobody who does this, maybe it’s a regional thing.

Easily Excitable Panda
Community Member
1 month ago

I *hate* it when that happens to me. It's so pushy, and warns me against the local attitudes right away.

Jim Day
Community Member
1 month ago

Not hard to find, the damn things are everywhere.

M K Z
Community Member
1 month ago

Best reply: “Have you stopped microwaving your tea?”

Paul Budhram
Community Member
1 month ago

wait that's really stupid i've never heard of it and if I was asked this I would be extremely offended, being a jew

Vanessa Galvan
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't feel like anyone even talks to their neighbors anymore I et alone ask them what church they go to

Nic Dudley
Community Member
1 month ago

Eww. People ask that here?

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

What? I'm from a country that is really religious and we never ask that! So weird

Marik
Community Member
1 month ago

A few on the way back here... I didn't even need to search for them. They just stood there.

Flare
Community Member
1 month ago

That is weird.

Max Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

I must admit i don't go to church every sunday. So this seems weird.

Dillon Hughes
Community Member
1 month ago

Would it be weirder to ask if they found a cool bar. Really just depends on who your asking. I don't think either one is weird, conversation starter.

Tabernus
Community Member
1 month ago

If a neighbour asked me that I'd make a mental note to write them a christmas card but to avoid them at every other opportunity,

danielw
Community Member
1 month ago

make sure the xmas card has all the ideas listed above on it.

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Julie
Community Member
1 month ago

People in the USA don't ask that.

Sista of the moon
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, I have never heard this being asked in my life.

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Gabriel Gomez
Community Member
1 month ago

I . F*****G . HATE . CHURCHES

A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
1 month ago

That’s more of a Christian thing than an American thing.

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 month ago

In France, nobody would ask you that

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#21

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Huge portion sizes. Kids meal in U.S is like a adult meal in U.K.

Revolutionary_Ad5901 , Ashley Green Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

"supersize me"

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What’s your opinion about the relationship between the US and the UK, dear Readers? What, in your opinion, makes this relationship between the two special? What do you think are the main cultural differences between Americans and Brits? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. We’d absolutely love to get your take on this, especially if you’re currently living in the US or the UK.

#22

I was in Japan once and there was a vending machine selling beer outside my hotel room.

So, being British, I bought a can and went to the elevator where I shared an excruciating couple of minutes with two American business men. They were horrified at my early day drinking, and I at their willingness to express this.

armosnacht Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

What's particularly wrong with day drinking? I mean, night won't reduce your drunkenness

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#23

As a Brit in the US, this is a fun one!

Pharmaceutical adverts on the TV are still weird af to me

The length and frequency of commercial breaks in general on TV is shocking

Low hanging fruit, but anything relating to child beauty pageants just makes me feel physically sick

Here's a nice one: taking 20+ minutes to help a complete stranger who is struggling with something. The amount of times a total stranger has stopped to assist me or someone I know? Y'all really make my heart melt!

Toxic_Orange_DM Report

A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
1 month ago

This happens in the UK too. I am a woman and I traveled by train with a suitcase too heavy for me to lift and always some lovely man immediately assisted me with getting on and off.

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#24

Spray on cheese

Stew32 Report

Felicor Bongolan
Community Member
1 month ago

That's horrifying!

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#25

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Addressing a stranger as ‘Sir’

UnsaddledZigadenus , Wikipedia Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 month ago

To me, this sounds like a good style. How would you address a stranger in the UK?

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#26

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Responding to work emails while on leave/vacation.

rekharai Report

N G
Community Member
1 month ago

I fear this one may be culturally appropriated - I'm in the UK and have worked for people who have done this, and been "encouraged" to do this myself. I have offered once (but that was because it was a big, serious project, and my time off was looking after the MIL's house for two days and I was BORED!)

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#27

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK high fructose corn syrup

itssteveninnit Report

Gillbella
Community Member
1 month ago

Vile stuff

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#28

Chanting the acronym of your country at any given opportunity.

NeonDave Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

Aussie, aussie, aussie, oi oi oi.

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#29

I don’t know how common it actually is there, but going fucking wild at the cinema during a hugely popular film like Avengers: Endgame or a Star Wars film. There’s a bunch of videos on YouTube of the audience reactions to various big franchise films and I don’t know how anybody lasts more than a few minutes in that room.

When I saw The Force Awakens, like two people half-heartedly cheered when the title screen came up and then someone immediately told them to shut up.

pinksoetko Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
1 month ago

While talking about american cinemas, why don't they have seat reservation? In Sweden, we book in advance, choosing our seats by how many we are, where the screen is and availability.

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#30

Refuse a drink to a grown-ass taxpaying 20 year old

Chapelirl Report

Alma Mater
Community Member
1 month ago

driving alone at 16 but having to wait till you're 21 to drink a beer ??? doesn't make sense

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